On Friday, Dec.9th, the Arzona Game & Fish Commission voted uananimously to deny the petition requesting a change in rule R12-4-318 allowing archery only hunters the right to carry handguns for personal protection. The Commission did however, mandate the department to adopt and change the rule in the next review of Article 3 in May 2007. The net result is an 18-month process to finalize the rule. This process allows the department an opportunity to address any language concerns of the rule, as well as place restrictions on barrel length, optical sights and possibe rifle caliber restrictions. All-in-all, this is a great victory for archery hunters in Arizona.
I just looked through the Alaska hunting regulations for 2005 and I did not find any regs. prohibiting the posession of a side arm while bow hunting. I did however learn something that was interesting. The use of a mechanical broadhead is prohibited for hunting mountain goat, moose, elk, brown/grizzly bear, muskox, and bison. Not to get off the subject at hand, but do other states have similar restrictions?
As far as a side arm is concerned I would not leave home without it during an archery hunt here in Alaska. Too many things out here that could end up hunting you, or wanting to claim your kill after the fact. I will even take one fishing with me in the spring, summer, and fall months.
I must admit that I have missed a big game animal with a rifle. And not only was it a bull elk, it was the largest bull that I have had in my sights with a tag in my hand. But, as with most "missed shot" stories, I have an excuse. Moisture doesn't really ever bode well for hunting equipment. When moisture (either rain or snow) gets into a firearms barrel, nothing good takes place. A couple rain drops down there can change the point of impact drastically and a barrel jammed with snow after a...